Harvard, Yale Set To Renew Rivalry At Fenway Park

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Members of Fenway Sports Management pose with both Harvard and Yale Football captains, and Coach Tim Murphy on Tuesday afternoon at Fenway Park. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

Harvard University and Yale University are set to renew their historic football rivalry later this fall at historic Fenway Park as the 135th playing of “The Game” is scheduled for Saturday, November 17th.

Both teams meet in the final week of the regular season annually, but this year’s game will mark the first time “The Game” will be played on the same playing surface as the Boston Red Sox.

“This year, it is our distinct privilege to host what is arguably one of the most celebrated rivalries and marry one of college football’s most classic games with one of America’s most classic venues,” said Fenway Sports Management Managing Director Mark Lev.

Harvard is no stranger to Fenway Park – in fact, the baseball team was the first athletic program to compete at the historic ballpark 106 years ago when the Crimson faced the Red Sox on a rainy-snowy day. The game marked the first-ever contest at Fenway Park.

Additionally, Harvard’s George “Iron” Davis, who pitched for the Boston Braves, was the first-ever ballplayer to toss a no-hitter at Fenway Park on September 9, 1914. Six years later, the Crimson baseball team beat the Bulldogs at the park by a score of 6-3, thanks to pitcher Babe Felton, who quarterbacked the Harvard football team earlier in the school year.

Yale currently leads the all-time football series (67-59-8), but has tied the Crimson eight times over the past 134 years, including in 1968 when Harvard rallied to even the score at 29-29. Those eight ties, according to Harvard Athletic Director Bob Scalise, are considered wins around the Cambridge campus.

“We think (this game at Fenway Park) will be a terrific experience for our student-athletes and fans,” said Scalise.

“We hope that this rendition of ‘The Game’ will be an instant classic to add to the rivalry and rich tradition,” he added.

This year’s contest certainly has a special meaning to Harvard coach Tim Murphy, who grew up in Kingston, Massachusetts and idolized Rico Petrocelli, who played shortstop for the Red Sox for 13 seasons.

“It’s such an iconic place whether we come here for Red Sox games or concerts it’s always an amazing experience,” said Murphy. “I think it is going to be a great event for any of the alumni fans or players who were involved (with this rivalry).”

Added Harvard captain Zach Miller, “To be able to (have the game played) here (is) awesome, it’s so amazing for us.”

Miller said he and his team had a chance to watch Brown University and Dartmouth College compete at Fenway Park last season under the lights on a chilly Friday evening in November. Harvard-Yale will most likely be an afternoon game, however, the start time of this year’s game has yet to be announced.

“It was very cool (seeing Brown-Dartmouth) on tv and just knowing we were going to be playing there next year was very cool,” said Miller, who was elected the program’s 145th captain. “Just the opportunity to be at Fenway, this historical park, our team – it’s huge for Harvard football, Yale football and this rivalry. It means a lot to us.”

Similar to Miller, Yale captain Kyle Mullen is also excited about competing this fall at Fenway Park. “I’m really excited for the game,” said Mullen, who hails from New Jersey and roots for the New York Mets, not the Red Sox.

Yale captured last year’s meeting, defeating Harvard, 24-3, in New Haven, Connecticut. Mullen, who plays defensive end for the Bulldogs, recorded a trio of solo stops in the win, including a pair of tackles for a loss of six yards.

The senior captain of the Bulldogs said he was looking forward to beating the Crimson at Harvard Stadium this fall, but said Fenway Park works for him as well.

“I was looking forward to beating Harvard at their home stadium, but I guess I will have to settle for this,” he said with a big smile.

Both Harvard and Yale will begin their respective seasons on Saturday, September 15th with the Crimson hosting San Diego and Bulldogs visiting Holy Cross.

New England Football: Harvard,Yale Set To Meet At Fenway Park In 2018

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Fenway Park will host next year’s Harvard-Yale Football game. (PHOTO CREDIT: MLB.com).

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Fenway Park will be the site of next year’s Harvard-Yale football game – it was announced this morning via a press release that the two schools would meet  at the home of the Boston Red Sox next November.

2018 will mark the 135th Playing of “The Game” between Harvard and Yale – the two schools first met in 1875 with the Crimson claiming a 4-0 victory.

Next year’s contest will be the first time “The Game” will be played at a location other than Harvard Stadium or the Yale Bowl since 1912.

Yale captured this year’s meeting against the Crimson, thanks to quarterback Kurt Rawlings and halfback Zane Dudek, who both scored one touchdown in a 24-3 victory.

The Bulldogs, who won nine of 10 games this fall, earned their first outright Ivy League crown since securing the title in 1980. Yale’s lone loss of the season came against Dartmouth in October, but the Eli’s managed to rebound from the setback by winning their final six contests.

Fenway Park was the home to a trio of collegiate football contests this fall, including Brown-Dartmouth, which took place earlier this month on Friday, November 10th. The Big Green defeated the Bears, 33-10.

Additionally, the ball park hosted three high school football games this month, including Everett-Masconomet. Boston College High School, Catholic Memorial, Hingham and Scituate also competed at Fenway Park prior to Thanksgiving.

Ivy League Football Notebook: Can Yale Top Harvard In ‘The Game?’

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The Bulldogs of Yale will look to cap their season with a win over Harvard in ‘The Game.’ (PHOTO CREDIT: Yale Athletics | Jack Warhola mage)

By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard’s shot at a share of the Ivy League title came to a screeching halt last Saturday in a less-than-inspiring 23-6 loss to the Penn Quakers 5-4 (3-3) at Harvard Stadium.

The Crimson 5-4 (4-3) are reduced to the role of spoiler as they head to New Haven on Saturday to face Yale in THE GAME.

The Crimson were never in position to challenge Penn as the Quaker’s Tre Solomon took the first possession of the game all the to the house on a 77-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 and the Quakers never looked back.

The Harvard offense was contained all day by a veteran Penn defensive unit that limited the Crimson to a pair of field goals (24 and 32-yards) by Jake McIntyre.

Yale, with a 35-31 win last week over the Princeton Tigers, has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title and can claim sole possession of the 2017 title with a win over Harvard on Saturday at the Yale Bowl, the Bulldogs first since 2006.

If the Bulldogs lose to the Crimson, Columbia and Dartmouth can also lay claim to a share of the title.

Yale sophomore quarterback Kurt Rawlings sparked the Bulldogs win over Princeton as he led the Bulldogs back from a 24-7 second quarter deficit. Rawlings was 26-for-34 for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs freshman phenom running back Zane Dudek rushed 35 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns in the  come-from-behind win over Princeton. Eleven of his runs were for first downs, and he also caught six passes and finished with 212 all-purpose yards.

The Crimson defense will face a mountain of a challenge in defending Rawlings, who is having an MVP-type season and Dudek, who is the front-runner for National Rookie of the Year honors.

Harvard has failed to play consistent football but they have been a very dangerous team coming off a loss in the previous week.

Yale leads the series 66-59-6. The Bulldogs edged the Crimson 21-14 at Harvard Stadium last year.

The Game, in front of a sellout crowd at the Yale Bowl, has a 12:30 p.m. kickoff and it will broadcast live by CNBS Sports. Paul Burmeister and Ross Tucker have the call.

Bob’s Prediction: The Crimson give Yale all they can handle in THE GAME, but it’s the year of the Bulldogs! PREDICTION: Yale 24, Harvard 17

Around the Ancient Eight: Dartmouth 7-2 (4-2) will look to keep their title hopes alive when they host Princeton 5-4 (2-4), while Columbia 7-2 (4-2) plays host to Brown 2-7 (0-6).

A Yale win will be their first title since 2006, and their first outright title since 1980. Columbia has only one Ivy League title, in 1961, and Dartmouth is looking for its League-leading 19th title and first since 2015.

Yale quarterback Rawlings performance against Princeton earned his second Ivy Offensive Player of the Week award of the season (Sept. 18) and fourth career Ivy League weekly honor.

Yale’s Zane Dudek earned his fifth Ivy Rookie of the Week honor of the season, just the third Ivy to accomplish the feat, joining Harvard’s Eion Hu (six, 1994) and Princeton’s Chuck Dibilio (six, 2011).

With its recent win over Columbia, Yale claimed its 900th all-time victory. The Bulldogs are the third team in Division I history to accomplish the feat, joining Michigan and Notre Dame.

Penn superb senior wide receiver Justin Watson continues to climb the Ivy League record books. Watson is in second-place all-time with 3,585 receiving yards. He also ranks third in receptions (273) and fourth in receiving touchdowns (32).

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Keeps Title Hopes Alive, Set To Face Columbia

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard kept their 2017 Ivy League title hopes alive with a come-from-behind 25-22 win over Dartmouth at Harvard Stadium last Saturday.

The Crimson’s win set up an important showdown  in New York on Saturday against Coach Al Bagnoli’s Columbia Lions 6-1 (3-1), who fell from the ranks of the unbeaten at the hands of Yale, 23-6.

Yale, Columbia and Cornell rest at the top of the Ivy standings with 3-1 records while the Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth remain in hot pursuit with two losses.

The Crimson rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Big Green 5-2 (2-2) behind the play of freshman quarterback Jake Smith. Smith was 18-for-35 for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Smith also rushed for 64 yards.

Smith’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Shampklin with 7:21 left in regulation sealed the win.

Meanwhile Bagnoli’s surprising Lions suffered their first loss of the season, courtesy of a dominating performance by a Yale defense.

Yale’s defense was the story as they recorded four sacks and two interceptions in limiting the Lions to just 206 yards of total offense and just one touchdown (1-yard run by quarterback Anders Hill).

Saturday’s contest will be the 76th meeting between the Crimson and Lions. Harvard holds a 60-14-1 lead in the series. The Crimson has won the last 13 games between the two schools. The kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Bob’s Prediction: The Crimson will make it 14 in a row over the Lions and stay alive in the title chase. All signs point to THE GAME! PREDICTION: Harvard, 21, Columbia 17

Next week: Penn invades Harvard Stadium, Saturday, November 11 for a 12 p.m. kickoff (NESN).

Around the Ancient Eight: It’s crunch time in the Ivy League this weekend with three huge contests, in addition to the Harvard/Columbia clash. Yale 6-1 (3-1) hosts Brown 2-5 (0-4), Princeton 5-2 (2-2) is at Penn 3-4 (1-3) while Dartmouth 5-2 (2-2) travels to Ithaca to face Cornell 3-4 (3-1). There are six teams in the hunt for the title with just three weeks remaining in the schedule.

Harvard’s all-purpose back, Justice Shelton-Mosley, leads the nation in punt returns for touchdowns (two) and punt return average (23.1).

Yale’s freshman running back, Zane Dudek, is having quite an inaugural season for the Bulldogs. Last week in the Bulldogs huge 23-6 win over previously unbeaten Columbia Dudek rushed a season-best 173-yards. The effort earned the first-year phenom National Rookie of the Week as well as offensive player and co-rookie of the week in the Ivy League.

Dudek, who ranks second among all Football Championship Subdivision ball carriers (8.4 yards per attempt), was placed on the FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List. He has been Ivy Rookie of the Week three times while having four games where he rushed for over 100 yards.

Yale’s senior linebacker standout Matthew Oplinger leads the FCS averaging better than one per game and has 9.5 on the year.

Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, November 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.

Looking way ahead to a game that is looking more and more like it will determine the Ivy League football champion, Yale will host Harvard in THE GAME on Nov. 18.

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Looks To Keep Title Hopes Alive Against Dartmouth

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard’s bid to remain in the 2017 Ivy League title hunt will hinge on a win when they host Buddy Teeven’s Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday at Harvard Stadium.

Last week Princeton senior quarterback Chad Kanoff had a day for the record books as he completed all 20 of his first-half passes and finished 31-of-35 for an astounding 88.6 completion percentage as the Tigers overwhelmed Harvard 52-17.

Kanoff completed his first 21 passes and finished just shy of the FCS single-game completion percentage record of 88.9. Kanoff totaled 421 yards, eighth-best in Princeton history, and moved from 21st to 15th on the all-time Ivy League passing list.

The Tigers racked up 573 yards of total offense in the win.

There were a few highlights for the Crimson as freshman quarterback Jake Smith passed for his season-best 268 yards and running back Charlie Booker III rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown. Luke Hutton led the Crimson defense with 10 tackles.

The Big Green enters Harvard Stadium after a 22-17 loss in last week’s showdown with the Columbia Lions.

The Crimson defense will face another talented Ivy quarterback in Dartmouth’s Jack Heneghan who passed for 331 yards (21-of-36, TD) against Columbia. Hunter Hagdorn, was Heneghan’s favorite target as he had eight catches for 100 yards.

Eric Meile led the Big Green defensive effort with a game-high 16 tackles.

Saturday’s game will be the 121st all-time meeting between Harvard and Dartmouth, with the first game having taken place back in 1882. Harvard leads the all-time series 70-45-5 and has won 13-straight games over the Big Green.

Bob’s Prediction: Harvard has proven their ability to bounce back after a disappointing loss this season, so this week is no exception. PREDICTION: Harvard 28, Dartmouth 17

Next week: Columbia will invade Harvard Stadium on Nov. 4 (1 p.m. ILN/SNY).

Around the Ancient Eight: The other big game this weekend is in the Yale Bowl when Yale 5-1 (2-1) hosts Coach Al Bagnoli’s surprising Columbia Lions 6-0 (3-0) on Saturday (SNY/ILN).

Yale, which is coming off a huge 24-19 comeback win at Penn (Elis first at Franklin Field since 2007) last week, will be looking to break the Lions bubble.

A win by Columbia this week would give the Lions not only their first 4-0 start in Ivy League play, but also their third 7-0 start in program history and first since 1932. Columbia’s seven-game win streak, dating back to last season, is the longest since 1934-35. Another win would match the Lions’ longest winning streak, previously set twice, most recently from 1933-34.

Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason polls. Columbia will be looking to continue their best start since 1996.

With identical 2-1 Ivy records Cornell and Princeton will look to remain in the title chase when they square off on Saturday night in Princeton, NJ (7 p.m. NBCSN).

The Crimson’s Justice Shelton-Mosley leads the nation in punt returns for touchdowns (two) and return average (21.5). Shelton-Mosley is also 26th in kickoff returns (24.6).

Yale’s freshman running back Zane Dudek has been named to the Rice Award Watch List.

Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, Nov. 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.

(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).

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